An Island Off an Island

Musings from Bruny

We are often guilty of waxing lyrical about the beauty of the view from our house, looking back across the d’Entrecasteaux Channel to Tasmania. It’s a scene we never get tired of due to the ever-changing nature of it. Today, for example, the gale-force winds are chopping up the water and the white caps are charging across the Channel. No water craft of any sort would venture out in such conditions. All this framed by the trees thrashing about and struggling not to be shredded by wind and rain. Tasmania keeps disappearing as each rain squall comes and goes. Even in such a miserable state, there is majesty and charm because it’s our view.

I write of this now because we have been lucky enough to experience some other pretty spectacular and/or special coastlines in our recent trip to England and Italy.

The first of which was a nostalgic trip back to the coastline of my childhood. Back in the day it was plain old West Bay, Dorset, but now it is deemed part of the Jurassic Coastline, famous for its fossils of that era. Few people would describe the beaches of West Bay as beautiful – more brutal – with its pebble beach, monolithic piers imposing themselves on the English Channel and the towering cliffs of East Beach (made famous by the TV series Broadchurch). To the east is the geographic phenomena of Chesil Beach and The Fleet ending in the spectacular Portland Bill. For the first time in living memory this pilgrimage was met with sunny and warm weather. (To be fair, most other visits have been in winter).

The next coastline on our journey could be described in gentler terms. Our hotel in Genova was situated in the heart of the marina with our balcony overlooking the millions of dollars’ worth of yachts directly below us.

We took a day cruise down the Ligurian coast to Portofino. The dramatic cliffs are interspersed with quaint and picturesque villages huddled in the many coves and inlets along the coast. Being Republican Day in Italy gave the Italians the chance to ‘come out and play’. Every conceivable water craft was being employed to catch the first of summer warmth. Most impressive of such craft was the super yacht “Arrow” a 75m monster available to rent at 850,000 euros per week!

Lastly, and most memorable, was the location of the wedding that was our raison d’etre for the trip. This gem was found east of Genova in the township of Borgia-Verezzi. The site of the wedding, and our accommodation was the Villa Sole, a stone building clinging to the side of a precipitous cliff with incredible views down to the coast. Between parties, weddings and breakfasts we spent many long hours sitting, marvelling at the vista below, always with a prosecco or Aperol spritzer in hand.

Now I type this surveying the Channel on a cold, rainy day while I contemplate how much I missed it while we were away.

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